If you've ever strolled into your neighborhood convenience store for tampons, you probably also left with a brand new bottle of air freshener. You might have once wondered why do you fart when you have your period. No, it's not your body shaming you during a time that can already feel like such a drag. Bloating? Stocking up on tampons and pads? Cramps that only clear when you're curled up on a couch even though you have a presentation to give at work? Add constant flatulence on top of all that, and it's enough for anyone to feel exhausted. But, there is a science behind it, because these are our bodies we're talking about, and our bodies are miraculous medical wonders that are often resilient and strong.
Farting more during your menstrual cycle is just another natural occurrence. There's so much that is still to be learned and understood about our intricate bodies, but thankfully studies have been done to let us know why, oh why, we fart more on our period. Don't worry, it also looks like there are ways to tend to these menstrual symptoms that can appease your discomfort.
Farts are never comfortable. They can be silent. They can gurgle. They can pop. No matter how they announce themselves to your unsuspecting surroundings, they can carry the scent similar to the one you face when opening the dumpster to dispose your week's worth of trash. All humans do it — but, during a woman's menstrual cycle, not only are the farts particularly potent, but they're also much more prevalent. Here's why:
Point Your Fingers At Hormones
During your cycle there are two hormones at play: estrogen and progesterone. Board-certified OB-GYN Jennifer Ashton tells Women's Health Magazine that the gastro-intestinal tract "has receptors for progesterone, which may cause relaxation of the intestines—or spasms of the intestines." While estrogen is the choice hormone up until ovulation, progesterone takes over from there. Of course it's different for all women, since we all have individual, unique systems. While some women react to change in hormones in a constant sprint towards on a toilet, others wish they had a use for the flusher while they experience bouts of constipation.
If you aren't relieving yourself with marathon-runner level poops and are instead constipated, this could be because progesterone has the power to relax the muscles in the bowels. This causes those toot-toots that are loud enough for everyone around you to hear. Great.
The Proximity Of Your Uterus To Your Colon Could Be To Blame
Right before you get your period, your uterine lining thickens. Because of its anatomical proximity to your colon, as it inflates it presses up against the intestine like its looking for a little bit of company. And when the period finally arrives, relieving your body of that bloat that makes your uterus begin to deflate, thus moving it away from the colon. Just imagine a balloon deflating, flying around the room, and expelling that noise that sounds all too familiar. Make sense? If it's not the hormones that are squeezing the extra gas out of you, it could be the anatomical placement of our insides.
OK, But How Do I Stop It?
You might not be able to silence your period farts altogether. And you certainly can't run around clipping clothes pins to everyone's nostrils or sticking ear plugs in everyone's ears. Also, no, you can't stay home, because farts are natural and should not hold you back from living your life! In order to continue living life with full confidence, you can take a safe, pharmacist or doctor recommended anti-gas supplement to ease your symptoms.
It's also worth noting to take a look at your sleeping schedule. Get your eight hours of sleep in and make sure you're staying hydrated. This could all contribute to decreasing the constant of farts.
But, you know, if you have to fart, just fart! There is no shame in the game of bodily functions.